Katie Murray had heard about the program at the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education (NSCECE) years before she attended. At that time, she had a full-time job and wasn't ready to take the plunge into school. But a few years later, Murry was looking forward to her journey into a new career.
"I've always had a passion for working with young children," she says. "After having my son, who is now seven, I felt there were aspects of this program which would evidently help me with parenting. It was a win-win for me."
Her program at NSCECE offered Murray the opportunity to see educators interacting with the children in real time, which she found to be extremely beneficial. This took place throughout the practicum placements at lab schools, which aligned with students' philosophies.
"The program offered me the knowledge to work well with children, and to learn how to be the educator I want to be," says Murray. The future Early Childhood Educators work at a childcare centre during the school year, and are met with opportunities for networking for future employment prospects.
The children from NSCECE lab schools visit the classroom, offering hands-on learning to prepare ECE students like Murray for teaching in a classroom setting. Although this sounds like a lot to take on, Murray didn't find any of it to be intimidating or challenging, because it was something she was interested in learning. She loved every minute of it.
Murray's greatest challenge throughout the program was trying to balance school, her practicum and her own social life of family and friends. But the time spent was well worth it, as Murray says the early childcare education field is a rewarding one, filled with so many passionate and dedicated educators.
Because the NSCECE community is small and close-knit, Murray didn't feel like she was just her student number.
"Besides gaining employment upon graduation, I honestly feel like my greatest reward was meeting so many different people from various parts of the world," she says. Murray found it to be amazing not only to be learning about early childhood education, but about other cultures, values and opinions as well.
Attending NSCECE gave Murray the confidence and motivation to further her education and knowledge in early childhood education, as well as a chance to excel in her career. Upon graduation, Murray had a job waiting for her at one of the lab schools of NSCECE.
Even throughout the busyness of the program, Murray says she tried to remember to relax, to let loose and to make time to be silly.
"School can be stressful at times, but remember that it will be worth it in the end. Stay passionate and don't lose your spark."